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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Saha, Jonathan 2016. Is it in India? Colonial Burma as a ‘problem’ in South Asian history. South Asian History and Culture, Vol. 7, Issue. 1, p. 23.

    GUYOT-RÉCHARD, BÉRÉNICE 2015. Reordering a Border Space: Relief, rehabilitation, and nation-building in northeastern India after the 1950 Assam earthquake. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 49, Issue. 04, p. 931.


    May, Andrew J. 2014. Homo in Nubibus: Altitude, Colonisation and Political Order in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 42, Issue. 1, p. 41.

    Cons, Jason 2013. Narrating boundaries: Framing and contesting suffering, community, and belonging in enclaves along the India–Bangladesh border. Political Geography, Vol. 35, p. 37.


Mapping a Colonial Borderland: Objectifying the Geo-Body of India's Northeast


India's Northeast frontier is at the margins of three study areas: South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. This paper attempts a history of “mapping” in its broader sense as a cultural universal over a relatively long period. It is not a history of cartography, but focuses on the interface between cartography and cosmography, which were, in turn, shaped by imperial power and geographical knowledge. This approach offers a high-altitude view of this Asian borderland as the imperial frontier of both the Mughals and the British, and the national fringe of Republican India. The authors argue that imperial geographical discourses invested the colonial Northeast (British Assam) with a new kind of territorial identity. Surveyors and mapmakers objectified the “geo-body” of this borderland in a spatial fix and visualized it as a Northeast-on-the-map. Cartographic territoriality naturalized traditional frontiers into colonial borderlands, which, in turn, forged national boundaries.

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James M. Blaut , David Stea , Christopher Spencer , and Mark Blades . 2003. “Mapping as a Cultural and Cognitive Universal.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 93 (1): 165–85.

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Erik De Maaker , and Vibha Joshi . 2007. “Introduction: The Northeast and Beyond: Region and Culture.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, n.s., 30 (3): 381–90.

Sanghamitra Misra . 2005. “Changing Frontier and Spaces: The Colonial State in Nineteenth-Century Goalpara.” Studies in History, n.s., 21 (2): 215–46.

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Jai Pal Singh , and Mumtaz Khan . 1999. “Hindu Cosmology and the Orientation and Segregation of Social Groups in Villages in Northwestern India.” Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography 81 (1): 1939.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
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